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Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears by…

Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears (original 1975; edition 1980)

by Verna Aardema

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2,3961652,599 (4.07)9
Title:Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears
Authors:Verna Aardema
Info:Scholastic (1980), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:ETEC 525

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Why Mosquitos Buzz in People's Ears by Verna Aardema (1975)


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Traditional Literature Assignment
  mefellers | Jul 24, 2015 |
Traditional Literature, African Tales, morals
  Jubilee22 | Jul 21, 2015 |
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears is this West African folk tale about a mosquito who tells a lie to an iguana. The lie the mosquito tells is that he saw a farmer digging yams as big as mosquitoes. The iguana knows it is a lie and puts sticks in his ears so that he cannot hear anything else the mosquito says. The iguana leaves with the sticks still in his ears and runs into a python who thinks the iguana is mad at him because he will not talk to him and so begins a chain reaction. The reaction goes so far as to stop the owl from calling up of the sun. In the end the mosquito is found out and gets away but to this day is buzzes in ears because he has a guilty conscience. The last picture says it all by slapping the mosquito when he is in the ear. This book is informational and multicultural and the artwork interesting.
Personal Reaction
This is a great story that shows what happens when someone gossips or tells a lie. It also reminds me of Aesop’s fables but told in a different culture.
Classroom extensions
1. Ask students to draw pictures of all the animals in the story.
2. Have one student whisper something in another student’s ear and pass the secret around until all the students have passed it around and ask the final student to share what the secret was.
3. Have a puppet show using this story. ( )
  Rayma_Powers | Jul 18, 2015 |
West African Folklore,
Classroom Connection Sequencing, cause and effect, and retelling of stories.
  josephla | Jul 8, 2015 |
This book is about West African animals trying to figure out who started the line of events for a mother owl to not "hoo" at the sun to start the day. This book shows how one person can "ruin" or "twist" stories/outcomes of a person, or in this case an animals, day.

A way to get kids in a classroom involved in this book is to have them dress as a favorite animal out of this book.

A good lesson for the children of a classroom would be that things aren't as they may seem. Also give people the benefit of the doubt. Try not to blame other's for faults. ( )
  charli87 | Jul 7, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 162 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Verna Aardemaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dillon, DianeIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Dillon, LeoIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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For Marcia VanDuinen who heard this story first
First words
One morning a mosquito saw an iguana drinking at a waterhole.
Is everyone still mad at me?
Mosquito told me such a big lie, I couldn't bear to listen to it. So I put sticks in my ears.
I'd rather be deaf than listen to such nonsense!
It was the mosquito's fault
The mosquito said, "I saw a farmer digging yams that were almost as big as I am."
"What's a mosquito compared to a yam?" snapped the iguana grumpily.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Book description
This West African pourquoi tale explains why mosquitoes buzz in people's ears. It all starts with Mosquito telling a lie to Iguana. Tired of listening to Mosquito, Iguana puts twigs in his own ears. When Python tries to talk to Iguana and Iguana doesn't respond to him, it sets off a chain of events that leads to the sun not rising in the morning. King Lion must learn the story of the events leading back to Mosquito's lie in order to get Mother Owl to call the sun. The story is enhanced by beautiful Caldecott winning illustrations.

If you enjoyed this story, try "Ahanti to Zulu: African Traditions".
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Reveals the meaning of the mosquito's buzz.

(summary from another edition)

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